Posts Tagged ‘bus’

Study of Metrobus Operations in Multimodal Corridors Completed

March 4th, 2014 4 comments

New Metro study evaluates best practices for the coordination of bus service with new, street-running rail services.

What's old is new again! Capital Transit vehicles sharing the road  in 1947.

What’s old is new again! Capital Transit vehicles sharing the road in 1947.

In the Washington region, bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail transit (LRT) and streetcar (SC) systems are currently under study or construction on major transit corridors in every jurisdiction.  Each is being planned by a different agency with different sets of goals and aspirations. Most of these corridors currently are already served by Metrobus and have heavy bus ridership.  All of these projects can leave a bus planner wondering how all of these modes will work together and with the existing Metrobus system.

Some existing riders will be fully served by the new service; however, many others will require a combination of existing bus service and the new fixed route transit to reach their final destinations.  As transit professionals, the ability for our customers to navigate seamlessly though the region via transit, regardless of the mode or operator, is our ultimate goal.   Towards that end, we have been working on a set of guidelines for the operations planning of buses and new modes traveling in the same corridors. Read more…

Metro 2025 Means Business – Lots of it…

February 4th, 2014 1 comment

Without Metro 2025, the region might give up more jobs than the current size of 80 of the nation’s 100 largest downtowns.

One way to alleviate congestion – limit transit funding and stymie job growth!

The Washington, D.C. region earned in 2012 the unfortunate honor of being named the #1 region in the nation – for congestion. For the workers in this region this comes as no surprise, as seemingly endless “volume delays” litter our evening traffic reports, commuters spend more than a full week and a half sitting in traffic each year, and even the public transit network – primarily Metrorail – is so crowded that commuters often have to wait for multiple trains just to squeeze onto the system. And unless proposed transportation investments keep up with projected household and job growth – MWCOG projects that the region will add 1.6 million jobs by 2040 – these commutes are only going to become more painful.

We all know that the high price of congestion is in the billions of dollars per year, a figure that would be even higher but not for transit’s impact has in reducing the region’s congestion by 10 to 15 percent, saving commuters time and money stuck in traffic, and preventing the need to build hundreds of thousands of new parking spaces and 1,000 additional lane miles of roads.

But that price pales in comparison to what may be if we don’t act now to make meaningful improvements to the regions congestion-reducing transportation infrastructure, especially in programs like Metro 2025. Turns out that we now know that when regions exceed 35 to 37 hours of delay per commuter per year – about four and a half minutes per one way free flow trip – regional job growth begins to slow. That means that expectations of continued economic growth in the region are a lot less rosy when we consider that we currently run about 72 hours of delay per commuter per year – and rising. And before you dismiss this as planning theory, remember that Hewlett Packard showed Atlanta and the nation in 1998 that congestion’s negative impact on employment growth can be economic fact. Read more…

Bus Stop Improvements Making an Impact

January 14th, 2014 2 comments

Metro is investing in a series of bus stop improvements across the region that will improve the rider experience and fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

IMG-20130722-00123

Construction of the improvements for the stop on Branch Avenue and Silver Hill Road


Metro is investing in bus stop improvements to make bus riding easier for everyone, but especially for persons with disabilities. Improvements have been completed along two routes; the J4 route (College Park- Bethesda MetroExtra) and the P12 (Eastover-Addison Road Station).  Addtional work was also done in the City of Greenbelt.  These stops were selected as a part of the regional TIGER grant bus priority initiative designed to improve bus speeds and customer facilities along high demand corridors throughout the region.

To meet ADA requirements,  bus stops must have four attributes:

• The pedestrian (landing) pad must have a firm, stable surface that is at least 5’ by 8’ (located at front door stopping location).
• The pedestrian pad must connect to the curb.
• The sidewalk must connect to the pad.
• The sidewalk must have a pair of curb ramps (leading to the bus stop).

At some locations,  Metro was able to provide additional improvements, such as shelters, and in-street concrete pads, which are better able to withstand the heat and weight of a bus than regular asphalt.  The specific improvements are described

Read more…

Categories: In The News Tags: , ,

Courtesy Messages – Singaporean Style

January 13th, 2014 1 comment

I was recently in Singapore for vacation and while I was there I used their delightfully clean and efficient rail system (more on that later). While walking through the stations, I spotted several movie posters, which actually happened to be posters for YouTube-based public information message ‘movies’. The movies are put out by the Land Transport Authority, which is a part of the government that does the planning for their transit systems.

Picture 110

‘May I Have a Seat Please?’

Picture 109

‘Can You Move in Please?’

Can you move in please? leaves viewers with two messages: 1. move to the back of the bus so that everyone can get on, and 2. take off your backpack or move any bags you may have out of the way. Some of the movie is lost in translation I think culturally speaking but still, you get the point.

Excuse me, May I have a seat please? is about exactly what the title suggests. This movie especially rings true in this day and age as a lot of commuters have their noses buried in their books and cell phones (even more prevalent in Singapore – a lot of people walking in stations and outside while watching movies!!).

The courtesy issues that Singapore is tackling rings true here in DC too, as well as any city that has transit.

Why isn’t Metro looking at a line to [insert address here]?

December 20th, 2013 9 comments

[Editor's note: this will be our last post of 2013.  We look forward to seeing you again in early January.]

You name it and we tested it as part of our analysis and development of the Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP). Here’s the comprehensive list of what was analyzed.

List of Transit Corridors, Projects, and Plans Analyzed as Part of RTSP

List of Transit Corridors, Projects, and Plans Analyzed as Part of RTSP

We have received tons of great comments on the proposed 2040 network of Metrorail and high capacity surface transit corridors. Many of you have said that we missed <insert corridor here> or have asked why we don’t have a line to <insert address here>. As part of this plan, we have analyzed almost every corridor or mode that you have identified. However, we recognize that most of it was behind the scenes and is buried deep in our posted presentations to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG).

Above is a list of what was analyzed before we unveiled the proposed 2040 Metrorail Network and regionally significant high capacity corridors. Better yet, here is a document that shows the Metrorail lines and other surface transit plans, projects, and strategies that were tested over the course of the project. Everything is listed and where possible, maps and graphics are provided to illustrate what was tested. All tested items were measured against a comprehensive set of measures of effectiveness (MOE). The MOEs assessed ridership, impact on core capacity, transfers, reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT), mode share, etc.

To wet your whistle, below, check out the Beltway Line that was tested. Only the segments that crossed the American Legion Bridge (between White Flint and Dunn Loring) and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (between Branch Avenue and Eisenhower Avenue) had some promise and therefore, they continued on in the analysis, though as surface transit not Metrorail. The other segments did not provide good ridership, primarily due to the low densities within a walkable distance from the Beltway, and had little impact on Metrorail core capacity.

Alignment of a Beltway Line that was tested in the RTSP

Alignment of a Beltway Line that was tested in the RTSP

Let us know what you think!

More than Metrorail: The Region’s Most Important High-Capacity Surface Transit Corridors

December 19th, 2013 14 comments

In parallel with the proposed 2040 Metrorail network, we have identified 25 regionally significant corridors that merit high-capacity surface transit by 2040. Depending on the corridor, high-capacity surface transit can be provided more efficiently and effectively by modes other than Metrorail.

The best transit systems in the world are comprised of large networks served by multiple modes. In the National Capital Region, due to the growth and dispersal of activity centers, the high demand placed on Metrorail, and the realities of transit funding, expanding the transit network needs to occur by expanding transit on the region’s roads and highways not just by Metrorail. Metrorail is not and cannot be the best mode for every corridor because the vast majority of corridors do not have the land use, density and ridership to support it.

But don’t despair! There are plenty of other high-capacity modes such as bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail (LRT), streetcar, and enhanced bus that can provide:

  • high-frequency;
  • all day service;
  • large, comfortable vehicles; and
  • lower capital and operating costs than Metrorail.
Regionally Significant High Capacity Surface Transit Corridors as part of 2040 Regional Transit System Plan

Regionally Significant High-Capacity Surface Transit Corridors as part of 2040 Regional Transit System Plan

Read more…

Less Stop, More Go: Routes 96/97, Part 2

December 13th, 2013 3 comments

Metro bus planning proposes 22 bus stops for removal along the 96/97 routes.

96-97 stop consolidation

East Capitol Street, looking east-southeast just west of Capitol Heights Station, where two east-bound and one west-bound bus stop are proposed for removal.

In September, WMATA selected 27 stops for consideration to discontinue on the 96/97 route to provide faster service.  All 27 stops are within a block or two of another stop.   The list was posted on this blog, and wmata.com.  Notices were posted at the affected stops, and WMATA met with representatives of council members’ offices whose districts are served by the two routes, and corresponding ANCs in September 2013.  There was a month-long period where members of the public commented on the list via phone, email, and blog post.

Following the public feedback, five bus stops that had been under consideration will remain in service:

  • East Capitol Street & 15th Street NE/SE, eastbound and westbound, due to the proximity to the Center City Charter School Capitol Hill
  • Woodley Road & 35th Street NW, eastbound and westbound, due to their proximity to The Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School, and
  • East Capitol Street & 52nd Street SE, eastbound, due to its location in front of the Episcopal Church of the Atonement.

In total, 22 bus stops will be discontinued, 12% of the total stops on the 96/97 route.   Maps showing the bus stops to be removed at the December 29, 2013 service change are shown below. Two weeks prior to the service change, notices will be posted at the affected stops informing customers of the change.  The notice will also include information on next closest bus stops.

The bus stops that will be discontinued are: Read more…

Three Reasons for Faster Buses

December 10th, 2013 5 comments

Priority treatments speed up buses, which saves everyone time and money, uses street space most efficiently, and attracts development.

Bus priority projects, such as those begun through the regional TIGER grant and included in the Metrobus Priority Corridor Network Plan, will improve travel times, increase service reliability, and attract thousand of new riders once fully implemented.

But let’s step back for a moment.  Why are these improvements needed?

November2009_AMSpeedMap (cropped)

Average AM Rush Hour Bus Speeds (Nov. 2009)

Read more…

Categories: Impact Tags: , ,

Bus Priority Requires More Than Paint

December 9th, 2013 3 comments
Photo of New York City bus lane violation.

Photo of New York City bus lane violation.

This picture of a bus lane in New York City shows how easily bus priority treatments can be violated without enforcement mechanisms in place. Traffic control officers, bus-mounted cameras or self-enforcing contra-flow lanes can help ensure that street space dedicated to buses is available for them to use.  Bus priority is a hot topic here at PlanItMetro.

H and I Streets Bus Improvements Study — Final Technical Report Released

November 14th, 2013 6 comments

Metro has released the final technical report of the H and I Streets Bus Improvements Study, making a compelling case for traffic management improvements and bus lane alternatives in the region’s most heavily traveled bus corridor.

Congestion on I Street caused by bottleneck at 17th Street, creating long queues backing up to 15th Street.

Congestion on I Street caused by bottleneck at 17th Street, creating long queues backing up to 15th Street.

DC’s downtown core is a vibrant community, with 380,000 jobs today and significant residential and retail development in the coming decade. While growth will transform the core and create opportunities, it is likely to increase the burden on the transportation network that is already strained by the closure of Pennsylvania Ave.

Today, all users—drivers, bus passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists—experience congestion during peak periods.  Besides high-volume traffic in the corridor, the constant friction among buses, vehicles and delivery trucks further aggravates travel experience.  For bus passengers, the current corridor congestion severely affects travel time and service reliability—a short bus ride on I Street from 13th St to 19th St could take more than 10-15 minutes during rush hours.

Metro and DDOT collectively launched the H and I Streets Bus Improvements Study last year to explore bus improvements on H and I Streets NW in the downtown core, the region’s most heavily traveled and most productive bus corridor.  The study investigated traffic management improvements and bus-only lane options with the objective of providing reliable and efficient bus service and alleviating Metrorail core congestion through innovative surface transit improvements.

The technical report is available for download (PDF) and posted on Metro’s Planning and Development webpage.

Four bus improvement options developed for analysis, as described and illustrated below: Read more…

Categories: Planning Studies Tags: , ,